Monday, 5 December 2011

The power of unity.

Once a man had a dream
in which his hands and
feet and mouth and brain
all began to rebel against
his stomach.
"You good-for-nothing
sluggard!" the hands said.
"We work all day long,
sawing and hammering
and lifting and carrying.
By evening we're covered
with blisters and
scratches, and our joints
ache, and we're covered
with dirt. And meanwhile
you just sit there, hogging
all the food."
"We agree!" cried the feet.
"Think how sore we get,
walking back and forth all
day long. And you just
stuff yourself full, you
greedy pig, so that you're
that much heavier to
carry about."
"That's right!" whined the
mouth. "Where do you
think all that food you love
comes form? I'm the one
who has to chew it all up,
and as soon as I'm
finished you suck it all
down for yourself. Do
you call that fair?"
"And what about me?"
called the brain. "Do you
think it's easy being up
here, having to think
about where your next
meal is going to come
from? And yet I get
nothing at all for my
And one by one the parts
of the body joined the
complaint against the
stomach, which didn't say
anything at all.
"I have an idea," the brain
finally announced. "Let's
all rebel against the lazy
belly, and stop working
for it."
"Superb idea!" all the other
members and organs
agreed. "We'll teach you
how important we are,
you pig. Then maybe
you'll do a little work of
your own."
So they all stopped
working. The hands
refused to do lifting and
carrying. The feet refused
to walk. The mouth
promised not to chew or
swallow a single bite. And
the brain swore it
wouldn't come up with
any more bright ideas. At
first the stomach growled
a bit, as it always did
when it was hungry. But
after a while it was quiet.
Then, to the dreaming
man's surprise, he found
he could not walk. He
could not grasp anything
in his hand. He could not
even open his mouth.
And he suddenly began to
feel rather ill.
The dream seemed to go
on for several days. As
each day passed, the man
felt worse and worse.
"This rebellion had better
not last much longer," he
thought to himself, "or I'll
Meanwhile, the hands and
feet and mouth and brain
just lay there, getting
weaker and weaker. At
first they roused
themselves just enough
to taunt the stomach
every once in a while, but
before long they didn't
even have the energy for
Finally the man heard a
faint voice coming from
the direction of his feet.
"It could be that we were
wrong," they were
saying. "We suppose the
stomach might have been
working in his own way
all along."
"I was just thinking the
same thing," murmured
the brain. "It's true that
he's been getting all the
food. But it seems he's
been sending most of it
right back to us."
"We might as well admit
our error," the mouth
said. "The stomach has
just as much work to do
as the hands and feet and
brain and teeth."
"Then let's get back to
work," they cried
together. And at that the
man woke up.
To his relief, he
discovered his feet could
walk again. His hands
could grasp, his mouth
could chew, and his brain
could now think clearly.
He began to feel much
"Well, there's a lesson for
me," he thought as he
filled his stomach at
breakfast. "Either we all
work together, or nothing
works at all."

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